Animal Crossing: NL, Luigi, & Donkey Kong Keep 3DS Strong, Wii U Still Struggles in Nintendo’s Fiscal Quarter

on July 31, 2013 8:07 AM

It’s been a bumpy road for Nintendo since the launch of the Wii U to moderate (but not exceptional) sales this past November, but in a report of Nintendo’s first half of the fiscal year by Gamasutra, it seems the path may at least be a little brighter and all is not lost for The Big N.

After some of the backlash and poor profits from the Wii U’s launch, Nintendo is reporting a break into profits during this half of their fiscal year: apparently, you can give these thanks to The Villagers of Animal Crossing, Luigi, and Donkey Kong. With very strong first-party releases from Nintendo on the 3DS this year, Nintendo has had great turnover and profits in this fiscal quarter.

In particular, the June-released Animal Crossing: New Leaf seems to have turned a…well…”new leaf” for Nintendo’s sales, as the game has sold 1.19 million units in the US and Europe, and a collective 1.54 million overall worldwide – quite the achievement, especially when combined with the game’s 3 million+ copies sold in Japan late last year. Bells for everyone!

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D has also been received with positive critical notes and sales, while the long-awaited Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon also performed strongly for the company, providing another 1.43 million units sold worldwide. How’s that for The Year of Luigi?

After its own flagging launch year in 2011, the 3DS has steadily (and thankfully) corrected this with an impressive line-up of titles this year, one after the other: Fire Emblem: Awakening, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf have all made for an exceptionally strong line-up in the first half of this year alone. The 3DS overall took another 1.4 million worldwide hardware sales during this period, as well as 11.01 million software titles overall sales worldwide.

The Wii U still continues to struggle for Nintendo, however, resulting in only 160,000 hardware units worldwide for the console (as a comparison, the original Wii managed 210,000 sales in this same period). The key factor to the sagging sales is a lack of quality first-party releases in this dry-spell, a problem that even Nintendo admits.

However, with a strong line-up around the corner including The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Wii Party U, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World, and the upcoming Pikmin 3, Nintendo is looking to come back in sales with a vengeance, 3DS-style.

But, is it too little, too late?

 /  Features Editor
Ryan is the Features Editor at DualShockers, with over five years' experience in the world of video games culture and writing. He holds a BA in English & Cinema from Binghamton University, and lives in New York City.